Recently there has been an increase in the number of food related illnesses, meat recalls and E. coli problems. USDA Undersecretary of Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond says it's puzzling, and finding out why and what can be done about it is needed. To help find answers to those questions, a big food safety meeting is being held this Wednesday and Thursday, April 9-10 in Washington D.C.
"We'll bring industry, consumers and scientists together," Raymond says. "We're going to tell them what we think, what we know and what we've found out, and then we're going to discuss some possible future steps."
One topic that will be closely looked at is the recently completed survey of all federally inspected beef plants in the country.
"We'll discuss the results of that survey and discuss policy changes that may take place," Raymond says. "There will be policy changes, possibly rule changes based on what we found in surveying these plants and looking at what plants that had recalls, what were there policies that were different than other plants."
New vaccines and feeding methods to reduce E. coli in cattle on the farm will also be discussed at the meeting.